Razer DeathAdder Chroma Mouse Review
The DeathAdder is a mouse that’s almost as old as me (ok, ok, not quite!), but it’s certainly been around for a while. I had one of the originals around four years ago and I loved it. The mouse has been updated several times over the years and now the latest update is using Razer’s Chroma technology, bringing 16.8 million colour options to the table.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma is a right-handed, ergonomic Gaming mouse with a Optical sensor with a maximum DPI of 10,000 DPI (wow, like I’ll be using that!). There’s 5 programmable buttons, a 1000Hz Polling Rate, a braided cable and obviously the 16.8 million colour Chroma lighting (mouse wheel and Razer logo).
The side of the box gives details of a couple of endorsements from Pro Gamers while also highlighting various features of the Razer DeathAdder.
The front of the (obviously black ‘n green) box shows a nice large image of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma hidden within and gives various clues as to the 16.8 million colour illumination supported. In addition to this the following features are highlighted; ergonomic shape, ultra accurate optical sensor and Chroma customizable lighting.
The back of the box shows another image of the DeathAdder and highlights various aspects of its design (see image above right).
Opening the box we can see that this is undeniably a Razer product from that vivid green packaging. The overall packaging was good, with the contents being well protected, but I have see better (from Razer too!).
In the box are the familiar Razer documents consisting of a rewards document and a congratulations document (from Min-Liang Tan – Co Founder, CEO and Creative Director!) along with an Important Product Information Guide and some stickers.
courtesy of Razer
First impressions are; Iv’e seen this mouse before, what’s changed? Initial thoughts are not that much, but maybe that’s no bad thing! The DeathAdder Chroma looks pretty much the same as the old DeathAdder of 4 years ago; the basic shape is the same, the scroll wheel has changed a little, there’s now a braided cable and the sides now feature a rubber grip. The build quality also seems high, as we’ve come to expect and respect from Razer.
Looking at the top of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma, there’s surprisingly little to see, due to the unfussy nature of the ergonomic design. There’s a single plastic top body that not only encompasses the two main left/right buttons, but also features a nice grippy (sorry bad word!) surface treatment, that I rather like! In the centre we have the illuminating (16.8 million colour) mouse wheel, that feels nice and positive in motion, but the clicks are faint and a little too subtle for my liking. At the back we have the final part of the Chroma illuminating setup; the smart (yet surprisingly subtle) Razer snakes logo. But where’s the DPI button/s, there are no dedicated DPI buttons!? 🙁
- Front / Back
At the front of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma we can see the captive 2.1m extra long braided cable, that’s also nice and thin and very flexible. We can also marvel (well look) at the uncomplicated and simple ergonomic design.
At the back there really is very little to see, but we can just make out the illuminating Razer logo.
- Sides (left & right)
There’s not that much to see on the left side either, which is a bit of a shocker, there are just two simple thumb buttons, that seem a little too far forward for my liking. One of the other updates to the DeathAdder range can also be seen here; the addition of a rubber surface for the thumb grip section. Now that I do like…
On the right hand side there really is nothing to see apart from another section of rubber grip, moving on…
Flipping the snake over we can see that there are only three (surprisingly small) glides, with the optical sensor centrally located. This 10,000 DPI 4G sensor should please the most demanding of high DPI Gamers, but to be fair it doesn’t really impress me that much, this whole DPI race is just getting out of control (literally! haha get it!) 😉
Overall the DeathAdder Chroma seems to be a solid looking and well built mouse from Razer, but really there’s very little to set it apart from lots of other Gaming mouse, this Chroma stuff better be good…
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma is simply connected by way of its single USB 2.0 plug and via its 2.1m braided cable.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma was tested using our Intel Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software.
The latest version of the Razer Synapse 2.0 software is required for full operation of the mouse, version 1.18.17 was downloaded (here) and used throughout testing.
The DeathAdder Chroma was tested using a OcUK Mega-Mega Mat 3XL Elite Tactical Gaming Surface.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the mouse:
To be fair the performance of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma is almost a given for three main reasons, the first of which is that it’s a Razer product and if they cant build a mouse that tracks well and performs admirably in-game then no one can! The other reason is that the DeathAdder is already a proven design that’s been refined over almost 4 years. The third and final reason is that the Razer DeathAdder (even the Chroma) is a safe design, there’s no bells and whistles to be found here. All in all it’s a basic five button mouse, with a decent software suite to back it up in the shape of Synapse 2.0.
The bottom line is that the mouse performs well, whether in fast paced games or slow paced games, of course it lacks some additional buttons that one might want for say an RPG, MMO or MOBA. And for me 10,000 DPI is just crazy, I have no idea why anyone would want to Game at such a level, for me I found that the mouse was fine up to approximately 2,000 DPI then it just got too twitchy for my liking.
From a comfort point of view the Razer DeathAdder Chroma scores well, it fits my claw(ish) grip well and would likely suit most right-handed palmers too! It does feel pretty natural in the hand, suggesting that Razer seem to have that ergonomic shape pretty well sorted.
We have of course seen the Razer Synapse 2.0 software before (download here). The cloud based Synapse software means that you’ll never lose a setting or a macro, which is kind of cool. It also means that registration is also necessary, which is kind of not so cool…
- SOFTWARE – (Performance / Profiles)
The first tab (CUSTOMIZE) in the Razer Synapse 2.0 software allows you to reassign any of the five programmable buttons, here you can also assign Sensitivity, this works in conjunction with the CONFIGURE SENSITIVITY STAGES on the PERFORMANCE tab (see below)). Each main tab (CUSTOMIZE, PERFORMANCE & LIGHTING) allows you to create and manage Profiles as well as link Profiles to certain Games or executables. There’s also a link in the lower left corner giving you a gentle nudge to register your new Razer product.
The second tab (PERFORMANCE) allows you to modify the DeathAdder’s DPI from 100 all the way through to the stratospheric 10,000 DPI, in 50 DPI increments. Here you can also set the CONFIGURE SENSITIVITY STAGES (or DPI switching) but there is no dedicated DPI button, so this needs to be assigned to one of the programmable buttons on the DeathAdder. Mouse Acceleration (a terrible idea IMHO!) and Polling Rate can also be managed here.
- SOFTWARE – (Key Assignment / Lighting Control)
The LIGHTING tab allows you to mess with those 16.8 million colours, both the colour of the mouse wheel and the Razer logo (at the back of the mouse) can be modified. Various effects are also on offer, Breathing (logo only), Static and Spectrum cycling can be selected and there’s an off mode too!
The CALIBRATION tab allows you to either select a Razer mouse mat from a drop down list, or calibrate your own mat, I choose to do the latter. I think it would be nice for the software to give some indication of what it thought of the surface (a rating maybe), as surely it must know if the surface is good or bad!? Although of course this could see us all rushing out to by Razer mouse mats… 😮
There’s a separate MACROS tab also, here you can perform all of the usual tasks of recording Macros (with delay or specific delays), you can also easily Edit the Macros and insert additional commands if necessary. These macros can then be assigned in the CUSTOMIZE tab.
Overall the Razer Synapse 2.0 software is pretty slick and easy to use, in fact at times it feels a little too simple. I’m unsure if that’s because Razer have somehow, cleverly hidden the complexities from us or whether the software is, well, a little basic…
There’s no doubt that if you already have one or both of the other Razer Chroma products (BlackWidow & Kraken), you’re probably going to get the Razer DeathAdder Chroma anyway! And if you do you I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re thinking of buying just the Razer DeathAdder Chroma (and to coin a phrase from Mac), is it worth a buy?
The DeathAdder Chroma came in the ubiquitous Razer black ‘n green box and the mouse and its contents were well packaged, but to be fair at this price I’ve seen others (and Razer) do better! Once out of the box, initial impressions were that not much had changed in almost four years! But after a quick study, it was clear that the latest Chroma DeathAdder, had a new optical sensor, rubberised side grips, a diffeent scroll wheel and now sports a braided cable. The basic (award winning shape) is still the same, no bad thing perhaps. Build quality is of the usual Razer high standard and the mouse fits well in the hand, even for my bastardised Claw grip.
From a performance point of view the Razer DeathAdder scores well with excellent tracking, being both accurate and precise in all Games tested. Maybe this is down to that 10,000 DPI optical sensor, well in part yes, but as I never ventured above 2,000 DPI (perish the thought), I’m sure it’s nothing to do with having a high DPI. To be honest this DPI race has to stop, it’s just getting out of control, as for the most part a high DPI mouse wont make you a better gamer. In fact it’s likely to make you worse! OK, sorry rant over… 😉
Of course the Razer Synapse 2.0 software backs up the DeathAdder Chroma and it is both easy to use and fully functional. Also the fact that all of your settings are stored in Razer’s very own green cloud, is also a bonus. Unless of course you were trying to hide your Game settings from the rest of the world… 😉
As I’ve already mentioned if you have one or both of the other Chroma products the Razer DeathAdder Chroma makes good sense, especially as the Synapse 2.0 software will integrate them all.
But on its own the Razer DeathAdder Chroma faces extremely tough competition and that’s not only in its price bracket of approximately £60. The biggest threat comes from Gaming mice in the £40 bracket, that offer pretty much the same for a lot less money. There’s no doubt that the Razer DeathAdder Chroma is a damn good Gaming mouse, but at £60 (at the time of review) it’s just too expensive…
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Many thanks to Razer for providing this sample for review